Effect of Stage of Growth and Cultivar on Chemical Composition of Whole Maize Plant and Its Morphological Fractions

  • Firdous, R. (Department of Animal Nutrition, University of Agriculture) ;
  • Gilani, A.H. (Department of Animal Nutrition, University of Agriculture)
  • Received : 1998.05.26
  • Accepted : 1998.09.24
  • Published : 1999.05.01


Samples of whole plant, leaf and stem of Akbar, Neelum, UM-81 and lZ-31 cultivars of maize fodder harvested up to 14 weeks at different growth stages were drawn and analysed for dry matter contents and various cell wall constituents such as NDF, ADF, hemicellulose, cellulose, lignin, cutin and silica. The dry matter contents of whole maize plant, leaf and stem increased significantly (p<0.01) with advancing plant age. Maximum dry matter was found in the leaf fraction of the plant. The cell wall components continued to increase significantly (p<0.001) in whole maize plant and its morphological fractions as the age advanced. Maximum values for NDF, ADF, cellulose and lignin were observed in stem followed by whole plant and leaf, whereas hemicellulose, cutin and silica contents were higher in leaf fraction of the plant. The cultivars were observed to have some effects on chemical composition of all plant fraction. The results indicated that maturity had a much greater effect on the concentration of all the structural components than did the cultivars. It was concluded that maize fodder should be cut preferably between 8th to 9th week of age (flowering stage) to obtain more nutritious and digestible feed for livestock. Among the maize cultivars, Neelum proved to be the best, due to its higher dry matter contents and lower lignin concentration.


Cell Wall Constituents;Growth Stages;Maize Cultivars;Morphological Fractions

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